Tag:Robinson Cano
Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:40 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 11:41 pm

Rzepczynski mows down Yankees

Marc Rzepczynski
When you hear that Marc Rzepczynski "struck out eight Yankees in a row," it definitely gets a wow. But there's a qualifier that takes a bit of the luster off the feat.

What the Jays left-hander actually did was record eight consecutive outs via strikeout. There were back-to-back singles in the middle of the run.

Still, it was an impressive accomplishment -- especially since the first seven of the eight were swinging strikeouts. Rzepczynski got Alex Rodriguez to end the first inning, struck out the side sandwiched against the two singles in the second, then struck out three in order in the third and struck out Rodriguez again looking to start the fourth. Robinson Cano ended the streak when he flied out, but Rzepczynski came back to get Marcus Thames swinging to end the inning.

(An aside: Did Rzepczynski's parents really have to name him Marc with the alternative spelling? Isn't it tough enough that the kid was going to have an alphabet-soup last name, without making sure he would have to go through life spelling his first name for everyone, too?)

His six consecutive strikeouts tied Ted Lilly's Blue Jays record, set in 2004. His nine in the game, which he won while giving up two earned runs over five innings, matched a career high.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Dissecting AL MVP race

MVP award There are plenty of players in the American League who are deserving of a MVP, but only one can win and there's no shortage of top candidates this season to take home the hardware.

So who's most likely to nab the MVP? Candidates include someone who would be a Triple Crown-lock if not for career seasons by two others, a second baseman establishing himself as the best in the game and someone hitting .408 since the beginning of June.

Metrics below include batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and standard counting statistics of runs, doubles, homers and RBI. Included are also two defensive measures -- Ultimate Zone Range prorated over 150 games and Defensive Runs Saved, which is not prorated. Together, both metrics give great insight into a player's defense. Wins Above Replacement is the final statistic, combining offense and defense to come up with a number that shows how many wins above a replacement player the player provides. MVPs generally end up around 10 by the end of the season.

Adrian Beltre Adrian Beltre
Boston Red Sox
.323/.362/.551, 68 R, 38 2B, 23 HR, 88 RBI, 13.6 UZR/150, 15 DRS, 5.7 WAR

Beltre has been everything the Red Sox wanted and more. If Kevin Youkilis was healthy, he may be on this list instead of Beltre -- but he's not. Besides, Beltre plays the more demanding defensive position than Youk and other than some hiccups in the early part of the season, has been a vacuum. He's slowly becoming a cult hero in town due to his on-one-knee home runs and curious aversion to having his head touched. If Boston storms back to somehow nab a postseason spot (hint: it won't), Beltre would likely win the MVP.

Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
.342/.437/.647, 94 R, 41 2B, 33 HR, 107 RBI, -7.5 UZR/150, -7 DRS, 6.0 WAR

Cabrera is doing it all this year: he's second in batting average, runs scored, home runs, doubles and leads the league in RBI. Just... wow. Not only is he having a Triple Crown-worthy season, he's also right there in non-Triple Crown stats like runs and doubles. His blemish is defense, where he clearly struggles which knocks his value down. If the Tigers made the playoffs, there wouldn't be much doubt about Cabrera's victory in the race. As is, however, he'll face stiff competition.

Robinson Cano Robinson Cano
New York Yankees
.325/.388/.563, 92 R, 36 2B, 26 HR, 90 RBI, 3.6 UZR/150, 12 DRS, 6.3 WAR

Cano has emerged to put together what is to date the 33rd best OPS by a second baseman in baseball's history -- with Rogers Hornsby responsible for the first five and seven of the first eight. So OK, Cano is no Hornsby but looking back at just the last 25 years, Cano's mark would rank sixth on the list. Either way you slice it, this kind of offense from a second baseman is not common. Cano doesn't have much plate discipline but that's largely irrelevant when you're hitting .325 and racking up extra-base hits. In addition, his fielding has taken another step forward. Will it be enough to finish in front of Cabrera? Given Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have all had off-seasons, it may be enough as Cano has largely carried the pinstriped offense.

Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton
Texas Rangers
.359/.411./637, 92 R, 39 2B, 31 HR, 95 RBI, 6.5 UZR/150, 5 DRS, 7.5 WAR

Since June 1, Hamilton has hit for a ridiculous .408/.459/.722 line and has combined that with strong defense to pace the AL in WAR -- no easy feat. He's certainly got to be considered the prohibitive favorite for the MVP, as the Rangers are 8 1/2 games ahead in first, headed to their first postseason berth since 1999. While Hamilton won't get the Triple Crown, a sizzling finish could vault him ahead of Cabrera in home runs and RBI -- leaving his only roadblock to the coveted distinction Jose Bautista's 42 dingers.

Evan Longoria Evan Longoria
Tampa Bay Rays
.297/.372/.514, 83 R, 42 2B, 19 HR, 88 RBI, 11.6 UZR/150, 13 DRS, 5.8 WAR

The AL East boasts three candidates, which just goes to show you how competitive the division is with three playoff-caliber teams, with Longoria a big part of one of them in the Rays. He's among the game's premier defenders and while you'd like to see more home runs out of a MVP candidate, he's been Tampa's most consistent and elite offensive performer. However, his numbers just don't stack up to anyone else on the list except Beltre.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: July 30, 2010 12:44 am

3B Marte delivers on mound for Indians

Andy Marte
It's a bad sign when you have to send your third baseman out to pitch the ninth inning. It's a really bad sign when he turns out to be your best pitcher.

Indians starter Mitch Talbot left Thursday's game against the Yankees with back pain, leaving the bullpen to battle through seven innings. Five relievers were variously bashed and battered, including a seven-run Yankees seventh. In the ninth, Indians manager Manny Acta turned to Andy Marte, who became the first position player to pitch for the Indians since Tim Laker in 2004.

"That's something I don't like doing," Acta told reporters after the game. "I did it because we had to. It looks like a mockery of the game."

Marte pitched a 1-2-3 inning, getting Robinson Cano to ground out, striking out Nick Swisher (who said "I now have a new most embarrassing moment") and inducing a liner to third base from Marcus Thames. He was the only one of seven Cleveland pitchers not to walk a batter.

The Yankees scored 11 runs on 12 hits, and once again, none of them was an Alex Rodriguez home run. Rodriguez drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run single. He came to bat three times with the bases loaded.

Rodriguez has been stuck on 599 career homers since July 22. He's 9-for-30 (.300) with seven RBI since homer No. 599, so it's not like he's slumping, but all involved will be relieved when he hits No. 600. The Yankees travel to Tampa this weekend for a big showdown with the Rays.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 13, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 2:02 pm

Yankees paid more than Steinbrenner's invesment

George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for a net price of $8.8 million from CBS in 1973 (it was $10 million, but then sold two parking lots back to CBS for $1.2 million). Here's a list of the 10 Yankees with base salaries more than that for just this season:

Alex Rodriguez $32 million
CC Sabathia $23 million
Derek Jeter $21 million
Mark Teixeira $20 million
A.J. Burnett $16.5 million
Mariano Rivera $15 million
Jorge Posada $13.1 million
Andy Pettitte $11.75 million
Javier Vazquez $11.5 million
Robinson Cano $9 million

Forbes magazine valued the team as worth $1.6 billion in April.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:09 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 6:31 pm

Swisher, Young in Derby; no room for HR leader

Major League Baseball announced Saturday that the Yankees' Nick Swisher and the Diamondbacks' Chris Young will take the final two spots in Monday's Home Run Derby.

Swisher replaces teammate Robinson Cano, whom the Yankees barred from competing due to a back issue (which apparently has not impacted his ability to bat .337 and play in 85 of New York's 86 games).

Meanwhile, major league home run leader Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays was never asked to compete, even though he has indicated he would have accepted.

"I love the support," Bautista told the Canadian Press on Saturday before going out and hitting his 24th homer. "A lot of people have been voicing their displeasure with me not even being asked. It's nothing I can control, just sit here and wait until they give me a call."

That call is apparently never going to come. Gee, think MLB wanted a Yankee in the lineup?

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:59 pm

Ramirez might back out of Derby

Hanley Ramirez If this trend continues, will anyone be willing to compete in the Home Run Derby a few years from now?

Hours after Hanley Ramirez was announced as a participant in next week's event, the Marlins shortstop said Thursday night he was pulling out. Then he changed his mind back. Halfway.

"I'm not doing that," Ramirez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm going to cancel it." A few moments later he said it was "50-50."

Ramirez said he was worried about how participating might affect his swing in the second half, a sentiment that's getting very familiar.

It doesn't seem like participating in one unconventional batting practice, which is essentially what the Derby is, could throw off a player's swing on a long-term basis, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the "Derby curse," and participating is becoming seen as a real risk.

Where sluggers used to clamor to get into the showcase, baseball seems to have more trouble filling the field every year. And teams are telling players not to participate, as the Yankees did this week with Robinson Cano.

At the moment, assuming Ramirez is in, he's on the NL squad with Corey Hart and Matt Holliday. The AL squad is Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells. Both leagues still need to add one hitter. If they can find one.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 7, 2010 7:39 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 8:56 pm

Cano in Derby, then out, then in, then out

Robinson Cano The story that Robinson Cano would participate in the Home Run Derby has taken several dizzying twists and turns.

Cano was named to participate in the Home Run Derby on Tuesday, but pulled out of the event due to a minor back problem after the Yankees were displeased Cano agreed to participate without conferring with the team.

The problem is the Yankees didn't confer with Cano when announcing Cano would not play. When reporters entered the clubhouse prior to Wednesday's game for the Yankees, it was news to Cano that he wasn't playing, according to the Journal News .

Cano noted that he's been dealing with a stiff back but it hasn't been a problem and no one has told him he is pulling out. Manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman confirmed that Cano was out, with Girardi saying that the miscommunication would be worked out "in house," according to Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse.

The GM and manager will certainly win this war, and hopefully this little saga now comes to an end. It is not yet known who will replace Cano in the Derby.

It's unfortunate that Girardi and Cashman are trying to get Cano out of the Derby. Putting the stiff back aside for a moment, baseball needs its biggest stars to perform on the stage that the All-Star events present: near-undivided attention from the sports world. Baseball only gets three major storylines a season to itself where it far outpaces other sports coverage: free agency, the playoffs and the Home Run Derby/All-Star Game.

Home Run Derby curse or not, having a bunch of no-names to showcase isn't good for baseball.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2010 3:10 pm

Report: Cano out of Derby

The Yankees weren't happy with Robinson Cano's decision, apparently without discussing it with the team, to participate in the Home Run Derby next Monday.

Well, it looks like the Yankees have gotten their way. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Cano has pulled out of the event, and the given reason is going to be a minor back problem, though it hasn't been enough to keep him out of the lineup.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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